In this book the attempt is made to give a systematic description of the methodology which underlies Anthroposophy and which, at the same time, constitutes its essential core. This methodology has on the one hand a universal and on the other hand a subjective character – by virtue of its anthropocentric nature. It shows how the modern human being with his capacity for thinking in concepts can qualitatively transform the character of his thinking – and thereby also of his consciousness – by ascending from reflection to perceptive thought, and with the help of ‘the power of judgement in beholding’ (anschauende Urteilskraft) can perceive the ideas directly within the objects – just as this was possible for Goethe.
Such a transformation of the character of his thinking leads the human being to a metamorphosis of his own self, and ultimately also of his own species. And it is for this, above all, that Anthroposophy provides a basis in method. It shows how humanity through the course of a long evolution has, in a certain sense, arrived at a threshold and also a point of crisis, in which it becomes evident that the creative forces of abstract thinking are exhausted. This crisis can be overcome and the threshold crossed by each single individual only if he is able to transform the quality of his thinking through the forces of a strengthened ‘I’-consciousness.
This metamorphosis leads the human being to freedom. For this reason he can only realize it himself in full independence – in contrast to the evolutionary metamorphoses of the past, thanks to which he first became an upright, then a speaking and finally a rational being (homo sapiens), and in which he was carried by nature and by the general cultural development.
On this path the methodology of Anthroposophy will provide invaluable help. This methodology can become the single unifying methodology of all modern sciences, as it describes the unitary sensible-supersensible reality. The subjective side of the methodology is expressed in the fact that its own reality arises only insofar as it is realized through each individual human subject, corresponding to the transformation of consciousness he has achieved individually. It assumes a special form in each human being. In order to master it, an assimilation of it in the form of knowledge is not enough: it needs to be learnt through practice. Theory and practice of this methodology have been given in the best and at the same time the simplest form by Rudolf Steiner in his ‘Philosophy of Freedom’ (Spiritual Activity).
G. A. Bondarev’s book contains, therefore, a complete structural analysis of this work, in which Rudolf Steiner presents the fundamentals of his theory of knowledge. Thinking takes place in the ‘Philosophy of Freedom’ (Spiritual Activity) through the movement of sevenfold metamorphosis. A living experience of this thought structure constitutes the practical part of the methodology of anthroposophy.
- The book is a translation (from the German edition) by Graham Rickett, Stroud, U.K.
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